The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

9 hours ago

7 Things: Straight-ticket voting is really big in Alabama, Doug Jones is proving he is a loyal Democrat, markets hit record numbers on good vaccine news and more …

(YHN)

7. No more tickets for panhandling

  • In Montgomery, the police department will no longer be arresting or ticketing people for panhandling, which comes after a lawsuit settlement that involved the City, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • Per the settlement, there will no longer be arrests or tickets for panhandling for three years while courts decide if the laws that criminalize this behavior are constitutional.

6. Jury trials have been halted due to coronavirus

  • As coronavirus cases rise across the state, Mobile and Madison counties have decided to halt jury trials until next year, which also happened earlier in 2020 when the state started shutting down due to the pandemic.
  • The courts will still be operating, but they just won’t have some of the same in-person trials. Madison County will also halt some hearings for small claims, traffic and district courts.
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5. Votes are being certified

  • In both Pennsylvania and Nevada, the results of the General Election have been certified, with former Vice President Joe Biden winning both states, but there are still ongoing legal challenges in both states from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
  • Biden’s senior advisor Bob Bauer said, “Trump did everything he could to disenfranchise voters and stop the results from being certified in Pennsylvania,” adding that some of the legal challenges led to “one of the most embarrassing courtroom performances of all time… Trump did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not succeed anywhere else.”

4. Reports of 2020 Census issues in Alabama

  • According to a new report from The Associated Press, Census workers in Alabama were instructed to falsify records if workers couldn’t get responses from households within the last month of the Census.
  • There are text messages between a supervisor and a worker where the worker is told to record fake counts in Dothan. Workers were allegedly told to record the household to have one person if no other response could be obtained. The Census Bureau is investigating the allegations. The false records could lead to an undercount of Alabama residents and impact congressional seats, Electoral College votes and federal funding.

3. Historic day for Dow Jones

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 30,000 for the first time in history, and during a news briefing President Donald Trump announced this and said he’s “thrilled with what’s happened on the vaccine front.”
  • Trump went on to say that the advancements with a vaccine are “having a big effect.” He mentioned that this is the ninth time there’s been historic growth with the stock market during his presidency, while the national media is pretending this is about Biden’s cabinet picks — or as some of those in the media are referring to them, the “Avengers.”

2. Jones lobbying to work for Biden

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) appeared on MSNBC with Joy Reid where he discussed the election and ongoing challenges from President Donald Trump’s campaign, and Jones said that this effort by Trump is a “national embarrassment.”
  • Jones said that what’s taken place are just “crazy conspiracy theories,” and added that he’s “not seeing anything where there was any legal basis whatsoever,” standing in agreement with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s comments earlier this week. Jones also said it’s time to “let this transition move forward,” which was already happening as evidenced by the chyron that stated,  “GSA TELLS BIDEN IT IS READY TO BEGIN TRANSITION.”

1. Straight-ticket voting dominates

  • In Alabama, the number of people that went to their polling place or voted absentee who voted straight-ticket made up 67% of ballots counted in the 2020 election.
  • Unsurprisingly, Republicans dominated this count with 62% of all straight-ticket ballots cast going to the GOP, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.

1 day ago

7 Things: Alabama certifies election as the transition begins, AG Marshall warns of slippery slope after he sues Madison County over Confederate monument, CARES Act helps Alabama company make PPE and more …

(YHN)

7. Del Marsh stepping down

  • Alabama State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) will be stepping down from his leadership position, which was announced while the Senate Republican Caucus met.
  • It was decided that Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) will take over as pro tem and State Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) will be the next majority leader; it’s likely that these changes will take effect when the 2021 regular session begins.

6. Thanksgiving restrictions being implemented everywhere

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  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is pretending the state will check coronavirus tests of visitors as cops refuse to enforce his orders, Nevada is placing restrictions on casinos, Pennsylvania is banning alcohol sales, Maryland is upping the enforcement of their social -distancing and capacity restrictions, Colorado has stopped admitting some non-virus patients, and Washington state is ending elective and some cancer procedures. All of these measures are meant to stem the latest spike in coronavirus cases as Americans gather for the holiday.
  • A study out of Los Angeles’ hotspots indicates that COVID-19 cases in the county’s restaurants and bars accounted for just 3.1% of the 2,257 confirmed cases found from 204 “outbreak” locations. While this is raising questions about where the spread of this illness is actually taking place and pointing to grocery stores and manufacturing and bigger hotspots, this could be tied to the fact that everyone goes to grocery stores while bars and restaurants are seeing limited crowds.

5. Funds given to food banks

  • From the CARES Act funding that Alabama received, $3,606,104 will be given to Alabama food banks to repay expenses they’ve had during the coronavirus pandemic, as announced by Governor Kay Ivey’s office.
  • Ivey released a statement on the funds, saying, “Food banks in communities across Alabama have been a lifeline for those in need, and I am proud to be able to put these funds toward the Alabama feeding initiative. I have told Alabamians that I remain committed to getting these CARES Act funds into the hands of those who need it.”

4. CARES Act funding creating jobs

  • Governor Kay Ivey has announced that Homtex will receive $10,572,100 in CARES Act funding to manufacture face masks. Ivey praised Homtex for “stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic to shift their production to create critical PPE supplies.”
  • The new plant, which will be located near Selma, will create 320 new jobs for the area. Ivey added that she appreciates the company’s “commitment to the economy and Alabama workers by providing needed jobs in Dallas County.”

3. Marshall: Removing monuments is a slippery slope

  • After filing a lawsuit against Madison County for the illegal removal of the Confederate monument outside of the Madison County Courthouse, Attorney General Steve Marshall released a video statement in which he suggested that these kinds of acts are a slippery slope.
  • Marshall said that decisions made like this are “done so out of fear.” He added, “It is now a question of when not if these same leaders will cast aside yet another law — being guided only by the political winds of the moment.” Marshall also pointed out laws should be challenged through the legislature.

2. Alabama election results certified

  • The State Canvassing Board in Alabama, which consists of Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Secretary of State John Merrill, has certified the state’s general election results from November 3.
  • Merrill said, “Alabamians shattered records for voter registration and voter engagement, proving that even a global pandemic cannot hinder our democratic participation.” Merrill went on to say that they have “certified those historic results and confirmed that Alabama is committed to providing free, fair, and accessible elections.”

1. GSA says the transition process can begin

  • U.S. General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy has been accused of withholding transition resources and attempting to stall the transfer of power, but now Murphy has informed former Vice President Joe Biden that the transition can begin.
  • In a letter to Biden, Murphy said that she “came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts.” She also clarified that this wasn’t decided due to pressure from any elected officials, and she “did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

2 days ago

Three numbers, two notes, one quote: Wrapping up Auburn vs Tennessee

(@AuburnFootball/Twitter)

The Auburn Tigers defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 30-17 to bring their season record to 5-2 through seven games. It was a win that Auburn needed badly and a loss that now means Tennessee has dropped five consecutive games. Although the Tigers won by a comfortable margin, this was far from a dominant performance against the Vols.

Auburn got off to a slow start, which led to Tennessee taking a 10-0 lead. The Tigers did not put any points on the board until a couple of minutes into the second quarter. However, once that happened, things seemingly started breaking for Auburn and away from Tennessee for the remainder of the game.

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Take a look at three numbers, two notes and a quote that show what happened in Auburn’s 30-17 victory over Tennessee.

Three numbers

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Auburn quarterback Bo Nix did not play a perfect game, or even his best game of the season against Tennessee. In fact, he threw his first interception of the season at home while trying to force a throw to receiver Anthony Schwartz in the endzone.

But, following that ill-advised throw, Nix completed 15 of his 19 final pass attempts including at 54-yard touchdown pass to Schwartz. Bo Nix was able to bounce back from a costly error early in the game and manufacture a solid performance that led to a big SEC win. Auburn will need that kind of resiliency from Nix for the rest of the year to win the games left on the schedule.

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Auburn defensive back Smoke Monday returned an interception thrown by Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano 100 yards for a Tiger touchdown to extend Auburn’s lead to 20-10. This was a huge play for momentum in the game because Tennessee had run the ball every play of the drive and marched straight down the field.

So, when Tennessee chose to put the ball in the air in the redzone, that was a win for the Tigers’ defense by itself. Monday made a great break on the ball, managed to bring in a leaping interception, and sprinted away 100 yards to find paydirt.

This play was at least a 10-point swing since Tennessee lost out on a short field goal opportunity and Auburn scored a touchdown in a matter of about 15 seconds. Once Auburn gained the 10-point lead from the pick six, the Tigers never looked back.

3/3
Auburn’s junior kicker Anders Carlson came up big once again for the Tigers in the win over Tennessee. Carlson was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, including one kick from 50 yards. Carlson’s ability to deliver against the Volunteers shone especially bright in comparison to his Tennessee kicking counterpart Brett Cimaglia.

Cimaglia has been a solid kicker for years on Rocky Top. However, his two missed kicks against Auburn (especially the 37-yard attempt in the 4th quarter) proved costly. The fact that Carlson didn’t miss and Cimaglia was errant twice led to an outcome that could have been very different if the roles were reversed.

Two notes

Big plays made the difference
Tennessee outgained Auburn 464 to 385 in total yardage. Tennessee had fewer penalties and penalty yardage than Auburn. Tennessee had more first downs and time of possession in the contest against Auburn. Both teams had just one turnover in the game, respectively.

So, how did Auburn win by 13 points? Tennessee missed two field goal attempts, while Auburn converted on all three attempts. Both quarterbacks threw interceptions in the redzone, but Tennessee managed a touchback while Auburn scored a touchdown on the play. Tennessee had a lot of successful offensive plays, but none of them gained more than 33 yards. The longest offensive play of the game was Nix to Schwartz for 54 yards for a touchdown.

Long story short — Tennessee was effective, but not explosive against Auburn. Meanwhile, the Tigers were not dominant, but were more successful in high-leverage situations. Those realities led to a 30-17 win for Auburn.

Auburn seemingly dodged COVID, but not injuries
It was encouraging to see that no one missed the game against Tennessee due to COVID-19 tests or procedures. So, everyone who has been a key player this year was able to compete once again.

But, as the game wore on, a number of Auburn players left the game due to injury and did not finish the game. Talented running back Tank Bigsby got banged up and left the game and both starting offensive tackles, Alec Jackson and Brodarious Hamm, exited the contest with injuries as well.

Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game, but the Tigers will need all hands on deck for the rest of the season, beginning with Alabama this week.

One quote

“That ain’t my job, guys. My job is to coach. If you want to ask me a football question, ask me a football question.” – Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt in response to questions about the direction of the Tennessee program.

I appreciate the sentiment from Pruitt following the game if he is trying to emphasize that he is not concerned with what people outside of their building think. I also understand that there are no good questions to answer when you have just lost your fifth conference game in a row.

However, as the head coach of an SEC football program, it is very likely that your job is much more about the “direction of the program” than about any one play call or scheme. Today’s coaches in the SEC are much more CEOs than play callers on the whole. That can be a very hard transition to make (Auburn’s head coach knows this as well as anyone), but it is one that Pruitt needs to embrace quickly.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers. You can contact him by email: zack@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @z_m_shaw

2 days ago

7 Things: Another potential vaccine shows promise, Alabama’s state superintendent says to keep schools open, AG Marshall believes Confederate monument removal was illegal and more …

(YHN)

7. Trump legal team in disarray

  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has criticized President Donald Trump’s legal team for their claims throughout the election and the voter fraud claims, saying that they’re “a national embarrassment.”  
  • Christie also said that it’s time to stop challenging the results of the election. He added that if Trump has evidence of widespread voter fraud, he’s “had an opportunity to access the courts” and present the evidence.

6. Appeal filed in Pennsylvania after Trump lawsuit was thrown out

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  • In Pennsylvania, legal battles over election results continue as President Donald Trump’s legal team has filed an appeal after U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann ruled against the request for an injunction that would prevent the state from certifying the election.
  • With his ruling, Brann said, “This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated.

5. Former State Rep. Alvin Holmes has passed

  • Over the weekend, former State Representative Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) passed away. He was a member of the legislature from 1974-2018. State Representative Chris England (R-Tuscaloosa) described Holmes as “a great Democrat and a fighter.”
  • House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) released a statement about Holmes, saying that he “was not only a champion of civil rights in Alabama but he was also a champion of all taxpayers.”

4. Merrill under fire for social media comments

  • Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has come under criticism for some comments he made on social media after retweeting a post that referred to “Black Lives Matter’s war on whites” and another post that said, “[W]hen patriots decide it’s time to fight back it’s gonna be ugly.”
  • These posts led to a heated exchange between Merrill and a man named Michael Richard, who has admitted that he was “trolling” to get a negative reaction out of Merrill. Merrill ended the interaction when he told Richard, “You may also consider having a sex change operation so you can become what you were intended to be. You’re done here.” Merrill then blocked him. The secretary of state said that if he could do it over, he “would certainly have done it a different way…that’s not productive.”

3. Suit filed against Madison County for removal of Confederate monument

  • In Huntsville, a Confederate monument was relocated from the Madison County Courthouse to the Maple Hill Cemetery. Now, Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed a suit against the county for unlawfully removing the monument.
  • The Madison County Commission believed that they acted within the letter of the law since they applied for a permit to remove the monument and didn’t receive a response within the required 90 days. Since the monument is over 40 years old, Marshall has said that the removal couldn’t be legal.

2. Eric Mackey doesn’t suggest shutting down schools

  • State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” where he discussed the idea of shutting down schools across the state as coronavirus cases spike.
  • Mackey said that while it’s Governor Kay Ivey’s decision about whether to keep schools open, he “would not recommend that.” He also believes “we should probably try to finish out the school year as best we can and hope that after a vaccine comes, things get a little better faster.”

1. Another coronavirus vaccine and a moved up timetable

  • With two potential vaccines approaching FDA emergency approval, the results for AstraZeneca’s new vaccine show an effectiveness rate of “around 90%,” which shows how fast the potential end of the pandemic could be upon us.
  • While appearing on CNN, Operation Warp Speed advisor Moncef Slaoui said the rollout time for a vaccine could be as little as 48 hours. Slaoui stated, “We are ready to start shipping vaccines within 24 hours from approval. ” He added, “[H]opefully people will start to be immunized, I would say within 48 hours from the approval.”

3 days ago

VIDEO: Ivey ends shutdown talk, 2020 election count goes on, Alabama schools prepare to deal with round of coronavirus spikes and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Why did Governor Kay Ivey feel it was necessary to announce there would be no more shutdowns for Alabama?

— Have we almost reached the end of the 2020 election?

— Why are we seeing more coronavirus cases in Alabama, and how will that affect schools and Thanksgiving?

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Jackson and Murphy are joined by U.S. Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) to discuss 2020, stimulus bills, what Congress looks like moving forward during another session helmed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and more.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who think the moves by President Donald Trump and the GOP are about overturning an election when it is actually about “working the refs.”

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

3 days ago

Three takeaways from Auburn’s win over Tennessee

(Auburn Football/Twitter)

Auburn looked like a team that had not played in 21 days. The visiting Tennessee Volunteers managed to jump out to a 10-0 lead in the first half on the road. The Vols were able to run the ball effectively, and quarterback Jarrett Guarantano found Tennessee receivers on short passes that were easy completions with room to run. Much of that did not change over the course of the contest, but the Auburn offense woke up, and the Tigers’ defense tightened in the redzone, which led to a comfortable win for the home team when it was all said and done.

The game was closely contested until Auburn defensive back Smoke Monday intercepted a pass in his own endzone which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. That score put the Tigers ahead 20-10, and Auburn never looked back from that point. Auburn eventually took control of the game and emerged as victors by a final score of 30-17.

Auburn earned a crucial win, and Tennessee dropped their fifth game in a row.

Here are three takeaways from the Tigers’ fifth win of the 2020 season.

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Bend but don’t break approach worked for Auburn’s defense

The Tennessee offense had a very productive day against the Auburn defense. This was especially true running the ball, as the Vols racked up 222 yards on the ground and averaged well over 5 yards per carry. The Volunteers talented running back Eric Gray gained over 170 yards on the ground by himself, and Auburn rarely had an answer for him. The Tigers defense only gave up one big run, but were consistently gashed for positive yardage on the night.

Similarly, Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had a very effective performance and had his team in position to steal a road victory until throwing the costly interception to Monday.

So, how did Tennessee accrue nearly 500 yards of total offense, only punt twice and end up with only 17 points? Because for all of the yardage allowed by Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s group, once the Vols reached Tiger territory, the defense was able to turn Tennessee away with no points on three occasions.

In addition to the huge interception by Smoke Monday, the Tigers defense also forced two field goal attempts that the Volunteers missed. Those three possessions that Tennessee moved the ball deep into Auburn territory, and came away with zero points, are what led to a comfortable Auburn victory.

Schwartz strikes again

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix and speedster wide receiver Anthony Schwartz have both been really important factors in the Tigers’ offense the last two seasons. Schwartz has compiled over 80 catches across those two campaigns with all of the throws coming from Nix. So, the two players have clearly been able to connect on a regular basis.

However, an image that Auburn fans may have a difficult time shaking is that of Schwartz running deep down the field (often behind all of the defenders) and the ball thrown by Nix landing somewhere that is uncatchable. Well, against LSU a few weeks ago, Nix found Schwartz on a deep pass that turned into a 91 yard touchdown reception. That was a great sign, but the game was already in hand at the time the play occurred.

On Saturday night, Nix delivered a beautiful deep ball to Schwartz again, this time for a 54-yard score that Auburn desperately needed early in the second quarter. Auburn went on to outscore Tennessee 23-7 for the rest of the game, and the long strike to Schwartz is what set the Tigers on the course for victory against the Volunteers.

If Auburn can continue to get Anthony Schwartz the ball down the field, it will give them a much better chance of putting up points against the remaining opponents on their schedule.

COVID-19 ended up being a non-factor

Entering the game, it was unclear which players, if any, would be held out of the contest between Auburn and Tennessee. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn told reporters earlier in the week that the Tigers had no new positive tests this week, but had also said the week before that there had been nine players and three staffers who tested positive.

When the teams kicked off in Jordan-Hare Stadium, every starter (and backup who plays a key role) was dressed out and either on the field or sideline. That was obviously a huge boost for Auburn and allowed the Tigers to field a team that is just better than the Vols right now.

Auburn did suffer a couple of injuries during the game that hopefully will prove to be minor, but dodging the COVID-19 bullet helped pave the way for the Tigers’ much needed 30-17 win over Tennessee.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers. You can contact him by email: zack@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @z_m_shaw

4 days ago

What to watch: Auburn vs Tennessee edition

(Pixabay, YHN)

The Auburn Tigers come off their extended break to face the Tennessee Volunteers today. Auburn’s last game was their best performance of the season, a 48-11 drubbing of LSU. However, that contest was 21 days ago since the Tigers had a scheduled bye week and then an unexpected missed game against Mississippi State because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Volunteers have not been away from action as long as Auburn, but they too had a last week’s matchup postponed due to COVID-19. That could be a good thing for the Vols because it gave them extra time to prepare for Auburn following a rough loss to Arkansas in their most recent game.

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Take a look at three key factors that will play a big role in determining who comes away victorious in today’s matchup between Auburn and Tennessee in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

COVID-19 absences
Neither coaching staff has provided a list of players that will be held out of today’s game because of positive COVID-19 tests. However, it is safe to assume that both teams will be missing athletes today. It is a certainty that Auburn will have players unavailable today because of the 14-day waiting period after a positive COVID-19 test.

There is no point in speculating exactly who may or may not be held out today, but it is obvious that if either team has key players unavailable for the game, then that will be a challenge for the team to overcome. Once players take the field for warm-ups this afternoon, everyone will have a clearer picture of availabilities and absences.

Auburn’s long layoff
People often debate whether or not momentum is a real thing in sports. Sometimes people are referencing a specific stretch of an individual game, other times the context is that of a series of games in a season. As analytics have moved more front and center of sports discussion and decision making, the idea of a team creating and carrying momentum has lessened.

However, there is no doubt that confidence and success work together in a self-fulfilling cycle where some of one tends to lead to more of the other. The reason this is important today is that Auburn put together its best game of the year against LSU three weeks ago, and has not had a chance to build on it since then.

The Tigers will likely need to shake off a little bit of rust in order to recapture the rhythm and confidence that was found in the big win the last time Auburn took the field. If Auburn is unable to get off to a quick start or settle into the flow of the game early, that could provide Tennessee a chance to gain a foothold in a contest that they are double-digit underdogs.

Tennessee’s quarterback situation
The last time Tennessee made the trip to Auburn, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano led the Vols to a 30-24 victory in Jordan-Hare Stadium. That day, Guarantano passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns and proved to be the difference in the game. However, this year in Guarantano’s senior season, things have not gone very smoothly. The Volunteers enter the contest on a four-game losing streak, and three different quarterbacks got an opportunity to play in the most recent loss to Arkansas.

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt declined to give much insight into the quarterback situation earlier in the week other than to say that multiple guys have gotten reps at practice and have looked good doing so. Regardless of whether Guarantano, freshman quarterback Harrison Bailey, sophomore quarterback JT Shrout or anyone else takes snaps for the Vols today, Tennessee must get good production from that critical position to have a chance to win.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers. You can contact him by email: zack@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @z_m_shaw

5 days ago

7 Things: Ivey meets with Biden and Harris, CDC against Thanksgiving travel, the election still isn’t over and more …

(YHN)

7. Cam Ward plans to be ‘pragmatic’ in new role

  • After it was announced that State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) will be appointed to the director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, he’s now said that he will take a “balanced approach” to issues within the agency.
  • Ward said that with the agency, “You’ve got to find a balanced approach that is pragmatic and, at the same time, based upon facts and data.” He added that he thinks they “need to get back to that.”

6. Huntsville could still get the Space Command

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  • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced in a tweet that the Redstone Arsenal was in the running to be the home for United States Space Command. This is the second time that the North Alabama installation made the list of six op contenders for the headquarters.
  • But even as this conversation is taking place, some are pressuring presumed President-elect Joe Biden to end the Space Program — not because it is a bad idea, but because President Donald Trump established it.

5. Aderholt wants Pelosi to come back to the table 

  • After a bruising election and little movement on another round of stimulus spending to bolster the economy as we struggle through the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) says the current proposal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seems unlikely to pass.
  • Aderholt believes the Senate will not go along with her $2.2 trillion-plus plan. He advised, “The Senate is still in control through this Congress, for sure. And, it just won’t go anywhere. So, unless the speaker is willing to pare down on the House side, then I don’t see it going anywhere until maybe after the new year.”

4. Trump is trying to get Pennsylvania

  • President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania claiming that he’s the rightful winner and should be named so. They’re saying they should win the state because their constitutional rights were violated when observers weren’t given proper access to watch vote counts.
  • They’re alleging that 1.5 million votes in the state “should not have been counted.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled earlier that observers did have proper access to ballot counting, but the campaign has criticized this decision.

3. Most people think Trump should concede now or soon

  • In a new poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult, 46% of registered voters believe that President Donald Trump should concede “right away,” while 32% say he should concede if he can’t prove “widespread fraud.” Also, 9% of people surveyed had no opinion, and 12% said that Trump shouldn’t concede under any circumstances.
  • The poll also found that 45% of Republicans think Trump should concede if he can’t prove fraud, 17% think he should concede immediately, 25% said don’t concede at all. On the Democrat side, 72% believe Trump needs to concede now.

2. CDC: Don’t travel for Thanksgiving

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced recommendations for the Thanksgiving holiday, saying that it would be best for people not to travel. If people do have to travel, they’re recommending taking precautions such as social distancing and wearing a mask.
  • The CDC said, “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.” This echoes other recommendations from public health officials who have said not to travel as coronavirus cases are spiking across the country.

1. Governor Kay Ivey met with Biden and Harris

  • In a virtual meeting, Governor Kay Ivey met with former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as other members of the National Governors Association’s executive committee.
  • The focus of the meeting was to improve coordination between state and federal governments with the coronavirus. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, as well as the governors of Utah, Michigan, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Colorado and Arkansas also attended the meeting.

6 days ago

7 Things: Ivey says no more shutdowns, Alabama lawmaker who had coronavirus warns others, more recounts and more …

(YHN)

7. Congress has the coronavirus 

  • U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced that he’s tested positive for the coronavirus and will be following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on quarantining. He’s said that he’s “feeling good.”
  • Grassley isn’t the only one. Thirty-plus members of Congress are presumed to have the coronavirus. Alabama’s U.S. Representative for the Fourth Congressional District Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) is self-quarantining.

6. Cruises out of Mobile canceled until March

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  • Carnival Cruise Line has announced that their cruises that normally leave from the Port of Mobile will be canceled until at least March 1, 2021. This was part of widespread cancellations from the cruise line.
  • These decisions were made due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the company had already shut down operations on November 4. The earliest the company might resume sending cruise liners out is February 1 from either Miami or Port Canaveral.

5. New grant program for small businesses

  • Revive Plus, a new grant program for small businesses across Alabama which is funded through $200 million of the CARES Act funding that the state received, was announced by Governor Kay Ivey.
  • Grants will be for up to $20,000 for expenses that are related to the pandemic. When announcing the program, Ivey said, “A second round of assistance through Revive Plus will ensure that the small business owners who have borne the brunt of the downed economy can be made as whole as possible.”

4. State Senator McClendon stresses severity of coronavirus 

  • After being hospitalized for about 10 days with the coronavirus, State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) has a message of caution as cases across the state continue to rise. McClendon said the chances of coming into contact with someone who is asymptomatic “is the highest it’s ever been in Alabama.”
  • The state lawmaker pointed out that the care he received in the hospital was because there was “a protocol to follow” with treatment, which didn’t exist as much earlier in the year. He also has said that he tried “to be careful but boy it nailed me anyway.”

3. 2020 election results chaos continues

  • President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has said they plan to file a petition to have a recount in Milwaukee and Dane County, Wisconsin, where the campaign has alleged ballots were illegally altered and government officials gave improper or illegal advice on voter IDs. Former Vice President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 20,608 votes with a goal of closing the gap, showing fraud and opening the door to more challenges.
  • Meanwhile, more uncounted votes were found in Georgia and the election board in Wayne County, Michigan, that would not certify their votes and then did, has decided they would rather not.

2. Schools in Alabama and beyond closing

  • Just before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that public city schools would be shutting down, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was busy fighting with a reporter and saying there was no way schools would shut down, but he was wrong.
  • Alabama schools across the state are closing as well. Some are closed for a week because of Thanksgiving; some will be closed for a longer period, which is not good. Grades are down and 5,000 students have apparently disappeared.

1. Ivey won’t shut Alabama down again

  • Governor Kay Ivey has officially said that she doesn’t have plans to send Alabama into another lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ivey just plainly said she “will not shut down businesses.”
  • To the relief of many, Ivey added, “[T]he business community certainly has my support. As I’ve said many times, you cannot have a life without a livelihood.” This comes one day after the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) started their “Keep Alabama Open” push.

1 week ago

7 Things: Executive overreach feared in Alabama and beyond, more troops to leave Afghanistan and Iraq, Doug Jones keeps casting irrelevant votes and more …

(YHN)

7. Huntsville CEO indicted

  • Paul Daigle, a Huntsville CEO, has been charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and false claims. This was in his attempts to defraud the Defense Department in relation to the war in Afghanistan.
  • According to investigators, Daigle used underqualified workers, causing the government to overpay for labor, and he told employees to falsify education records. Some of the charges are in relation to false billing where the government was charged for work that wasn’t related to the agreed-upon contract.

6. State Sen. Cam Ward new Pardons and Paroles director

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  • Governor Kay Ivey has officially announced that State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) will become the new director of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on December 7.
  • Ivey noted Ward’s “career as an attorney and public servant,” adding that she’s “confident that his background and experience will position him to closely follow the letter of the law while providing individuals every opportunity possible to rebuild their lives post-incarceration.”

5. Americans want a relief package

  • In a new Hill-HarrisX poll conducted from November 10-13, 77% of people want to see a coronavirus relief package passes as soon as possible. Support for another package has seemed to grow as negotiations seem to continue to stall or not happen at all. The survey included 2,762 registered voters.
  • In the survey, 23% of people oppose another relief package. Broken up by party, 78% of independents, 89% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans support another relief package. Even 67% of those who say they voted for President Donald Trump support relief.

4. More irregularities and voter issues as the 2020 election goes on

  • For the second day in a row, over two thousand votes were found during a hand recount in Fayette County that were not included in the final tally of votes, but Georgia’s secretary of state said there were several backup steps that failed to catch the issue, which he said falls on workers who didn’t follow the procedures. This latest mistake added 1,577 votes for President Donald Trump and 1,128 for Joe Biden.
  • In Michigan, two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted against the certification of the general election results. This area has 43 different jurisdictions, including Detroit. The Republican chair of the committee cited incomplete information and unexplained discrepancies between ballots cast and the number of absentee ballots that were counted as reasoning for her vote. Hours later, the two Republicans collapsed under pressure and changed their votes but asked Michigan’s secretary of state to look into the issues they noted hours earlier.

3. Jones continues to vote against Trump

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is now on his way out and a “lame duck” senator until January 3, and he’s continued his reputation of irrelevantly voting against President Donald Trump on judiciary picks.
  • Most recently, Jones voted against the cloture on the nominations of Kristi Haskins Johnson for the U.S. Southern District of Mississippi, Benjamin Joel Beaton for the U.S. Western District of Kentucky and Toby Crouse for U.S. District of Kansas.

2. Trump pulling more troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan

  • America’s seemingly never-ending wars will see fewer troops engaged in them by the time the Trump administration wraps up after President Trump ordered the Pentagon to reduce the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2,500, according to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.
  • Resistance to this came from all sides, including inside the Pentagon where leadership has argued that further troop withdrawals will hurt peace talks in Afghanistan and jeopardize the missions that have been going on for long over a decade.

1. Emergency powers under scrutiny at many levels

  • As more states move towards lockdowns, the Business Council of Alabama has launched, “Keep Alabama Open,” a program that opposes the potential for a nationwide lockdown and argues Alabama’s leaders can best handle Alabama business. The program commends Governor Kay Ivey for “continuing to exercise thoughtful leadership in this unprecedented time.”
  • Baldwin County Republican Party chairman Michael Hoyt recently spoke about the issue of lockdowns and how much emergency power is given to the executive branch of government during these times. Hoyt said, “We don’t elect dictators on the state level, and we don’t on the national level. They do have to be held accountable, and they will by the people.” He also detailed that he’s unhappy with the language in some of the emergency powers granted to the governor in Alabama, saying that “the governor can declare this emergency, and it can be for public health reasons and last for 60 days unless she extends it by proclamation with no end in sight…I think we’ve really got to look from top to bottom at our emergency management statutes and really claw back the authority of the governor’s office and the state health executive. It’s really concerning.”

1 week ago

7 Things: Alabama will get coronavirus vaccine in December, Jones has advice for Democrats after big loss, stimulus checks could be tax-free in Alabama and more …

(YHN)

7. Votes found in Georgia

  • Reportedly, 2,600 ballots have been found in Georgia’s Floyd County during a recount that is now underway. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says this happened because election officials failed to upload votes that were on a memory card inside a ballot-scanning machine.
  • As usual, the errors never seem to affect Democrats. The “found” ballots will now add about 800 votes to President Donald Trump’s total, leaving him about 14,000 votes behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

6. Democrats misread the results of the 2020 election

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  • In a Biden administration, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is hopeful about how progressive the first 100 days will look. In a recent interview, he said that the focus will be climate change, raising the minimum wage, changing the tax code and even “strengthening labor unions.”
  • Schumer added that they also want to focus on “getting rid of student debt.” He continued, “I have a proposal with Elizabeth Warren that the first $50,000 of debt be vanquished, and we believe that Joe Biden can do that with a pen as opposed to legislation.”

5. Huntsville firm will help return people to the moon

  • Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. (TBE) in Huntsville has been awarded an $85 million contract and will supply two Launch Vehicle Stage Adapters (LVSA) to NASA for the Artemis II and III missions.
  • TBE President Jan Hess said that they’re “thrilled to be a part of the monumental Artemis spaceflight moon missions.” Hess added that this further solidifies “our prominence in designing and building spaceflight hardware.”

4. Biden still can’t condemn his supporters’ violence

  • Over the weekend, there were protests in support of President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., but violence did break out as some of the protesters were attacked by counter-protesters. When asked about the violence, former Vice President Joe Biden made a very general statement.
  • Biden denounced “all acts of violence” through a statement made by his spokesperson Andrew Bates. The statement continued to also denounce “the repugnant displays of white supremacy that were made in Washington, D.C. this weekend,” which is how the media allows its allies to use as a blanket excuse for the violence of fellow liberals.

3. Stimulus payments could be tax-exempt

  • State Representatives Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and Andy Whitt (R-Harvest) have pre-filed legislation that would guarantee the stimulus checks people across Alabama received from the federal government are tax exempt.
  • Whitt described collecting taxes on the stimulus payments as “almost immoral when you consider the reason they were awarded in the first place.” Mooney explained, “We just need to take care of our citizens; that is what we’re down there for.”

2. Yes, Democrats should listen to Doug Jones

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) lost his reelection bid in Alabama, but while on MSNBC, he spoke about some of the races in Georgia and how those could show promise for Democrats in the South.
  • Jones said that “there are amazing opportunities in the South despite the losses.” He went on to add that “what you’re seeing in Georgia and other places right now where the base of voters are beginning to look at things in a different way.”

1. First vaccine doses could be available by December

  • In Alabama, it’s likely that the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine could be available to some by mid-December, and the Alabama Department of Public Health has also confirmed that the vaccine will be free. There will be no charge for the vaccine, no matter if someone has health insurance or not.
  • Many vaccines are still being studied, but a few have been proven very effective and are currently going through steps to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

1 week ago

Tua Tagovailoa remains undefeated as an NFL starting quarterback as he leads the Dolphins over the Chargers

(WVTM/YouTube, YHN)

Everyone was used to seeing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa make incredible plays on Saturdays a year ago for the Alabama Crimson Tide. However, he has moved on to the big leagues and has now started the last three games for the Miami Dolphins.

Tagovailoa is undefeated as a starting NFL quarterback through three games, thanks to a 29-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night.

Of course, after the Sunday win, he started off talking about the rest of the team, because that’s just who he is.

He told reporters, “I think today was a great team win. We ran the ball really well, big shout out to our o-line. …We had a lot of opportunities from the defense as well, and I think the special teams did a really great job, so just a great team effort.”

However, Tua played very well himself, and his leadership and ability was the real story of this game.

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The quarterback looked just like his old self before his hip injury in college. The rookie completed 15-25 passing for a 60% completion percentage against the Chargers. He threw two touchdowns and zero interceptions on the night to cap off a great performance.

While he has the ability to make plays on his legs, he averaged -.02 yards a carry against the Chargers on Sunday. The most important thing for him to become a successful NFL quarterback is not his legs, but how well he can throw the ball.

He is showing that he can throw the ball at the highest level.

Against the Arizona Cardinals last week, he threw 20-28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, by far his best performance to this date.

When Dolphins head coach Brian Flores was asked about Tua’s performance in Sunday’s game against the Chargers, he said, “I haven’t watched the tape, but it seemed like he made some pretty good decisions. It looked like there were some throws there that he got into some tight windows.”

The main thing Tua has shown through his first three starts with the Dolphins is his leadership ability. He has earned the respect of his team as just a 22-year-old rookie. The locker room is behind him, which some thought might be difficult considering how well quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played in the opening games of the season.

His leadership is seen by Dolphins teammate wide receiver Jakeem Grant, Sr., who had this to say about Tua when asked if he was like a point guard on the football field: “He is a quarterback, and he is the leader of the team while we are out there. Guess what? He gave me a couple of assists and gave a couple of assists to Devonta.”

Tua is just such a likable and humble player, and that seems to have helped him earn the respect of his teammates.

A lot of the respect and cohesion with his teammates actually comes from practice, according to Tua.

“I’d say I’m comfortable, but a lot of that starts from practice,” he advised. “Just being able to talk with our center Ted on Thursdays going over our protections.”

He continued, “Being able to talk to our o-line about what I am thinking and then hearing from them what they are thinking. Then hear find out what our receivers are thinking. … It starts from practice and then translates to the game.”

The Miami Dolphins are 6-3 so far this season with a five-game win streak started by Fitzpatrick but continued by Tagovailoa. This season has been one of the best starts for the Dolphins since the early 2000s, and a big part of that is because of Tua.

The Chargers were also playing with a rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert, out of Oregon. Herbert has had an amazing start to his career as well by putting up good numbers for a rookie quarterback. It was Tagovailoa who came out on top this week, though.

The rookie quarterback had plenty of skeptics in the preseason thanks to a hip injury near the end of his college career. Yet, it is easy to see that the injury is all behind him now.

Saban even said before the draft that he hoped the Dolphins wouldn’t “pass on Tua, like we did on Drew Brees.” This refers to when he was coach of the Miami Dolphins and did not sign Brees because of an injury. Brees has gone on to have a stellar career and will likely end up in the NFL Hall of Fame.

When Flores was asked if he left this game feeling like he made the right decision in drafting Tua, he stated, “We have a lot of confidence in all our draft picks that they are going to develop and improve. He is no different.”

Flores then added, “That’s what we are trying to do, develop and improve and take it week to week…We aren’t going to talk about any player and say hey you have arrived, and you have done it. Nobody has all the answers, I certainly don’t. It starts with me, and hopefully, we really improve at every position including the quarterback.”

The Dolphins are happy they didn’t pass on Tua, and the Crimson Tide faithful are glad to watch Tua succeed on Sundays.

For any Bama fans wanting to watch him play as a pro, the former Tide star plays the Denver Broncos next this coming Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT.

Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: hayden@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.

1 week ago

7 Things: Still no concession from Trump, concern over shutdown lingers in Alabama, Tuberville stresses importance of Georgia U.S. Senate race and more …

(YHN)

7. Mardi Gras won’t be canceled

  • Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson assured that Mardi Gras 2021 won’t be canceled, but said some things may look a bit different. 
  • Parade permits will still be issued, and the city will be removing some financial penalties if there are cancellations up to a week prior to festivities. 

6. Shots fired at mayor’s home

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  • In Selma, shots were fired into Mayor James Perkins’ house, but no one inside was injured; an investigation is currently underway. 
  • Police Chief Kenta Fulford said they “will do everything that we can to see that the person or persons that are responsible for the shootings that have been going on, not just at his (Perkins’) home but throughout the city, are prosecuted.”

5. Congressman Aderholt is self-quarantining

  • U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) will remain in Alabama after coming in contact with someone that has since tested positive for COVID-19 and will now miss a week of votes in the House of Representatives.
  • The House physician advised Aderholt to quarantine even though the congressman tested negative. According to a statement, Aderholt “has no symptoms.”

4. Violence against conservatives goes ignored

  • Ivanka Trump has recently voiced her frustration with the media’s lack of reaction to civil unrest that took place over the weekend, saying on Twitter that the “silence about the physical violence against conservative is shameful & dangerous.” The media’s desire to blame conservative victims is well known.
  • Ivanka added, “Violence is never the answer and instigators must be condemned and prosecuted.” This comes after protestors and counter-protestors clashed in Washington, D.C. 

3. Tuberville thinks the U.S. Senate race in Georgia is important

  • Former Auburn football coach and now U.S. Senate-elect Tommy Tuberville has issued a bit of a warning about what the state of the country could become if Republicans lose the majority in the U.S. Senate. According to recent polls, there may not be much of a worry.
  • Tuberville first said that if Democrats hold the majority, “we have lost our country as we know it.” He went on to add, “We will not have a Christian conservative majority ever again… If we lose the Senate, it’s going to be a different world.”

2. No, a second shutdown probably won’t happen here

  • As coronavirus cases across the country and Alabama increase, there have already been talks of another economic shutdown to slow or stop the spread. Michigan has already moved towards a shutdown, but it seems unlikely that another shutdown will happen in Alabama. 
  • State Senator Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) has said that a shutdown in that way couldn’t be done federally and has to be handled locally. Elliott went on to say, “[T]hese type of orders are very difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. And even with what has occurred over the last six-plus months, you are seeing folks saying, ‘Look, enough is enough. I’m not doing it.’ And that is going to make shutting things down unenforceable.”

1. No conceding yet

  • As legal losses mount, President Donald Trump has remained consistent and strong on the matter of the general election, maintaining that former Vice President Joe Biden being the projected winner is on the basis of fraud. 
  • Recently, Trump tweeted, “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!” Trump’s tweets have continued to be flagged by Twitter. 

1 week ago

VIDEO: Presidential election goes on, COVID-19 surges, voting laws will change in Alabama and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will the 2020 presidential election ever end, and will anything change?

— Can Alabama avoid additional restrictions and shutdowns as COVID-19 surges across the globe again?

— Will Alabama voting laws change in Alabama, and what do the two sides that want to change them look like?

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Jackson and Handback are joined by Alabama Democratic Party Chairman and State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) to discuss 2020, election law, the future of the Alabama Democratic Party and more.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who wanted to see the investigation concerning Russia and President Donald Trump to play itself out but want all questions about this election dropped immediately.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden takes Arizona while Trump campaign wins legal battle in Pennsylvania, COVID-19 shutdown fight brewing in Alabama, Alabama school system moves to virtual and more …

(YHN)

7. Confederate flag removed

  • At the Marshall County Courthouse in Albertville, a Confederate flag, which was originally put there by the Sons of Confederate Veterans,
  • has been removed. The flag was replaced with a replica of the design for the Alabama Session Convention pre-Civil War.
  • There have been protests over the Confederate flag and monument outside of the courthouse for months, and this is just another area in Alabama that has relocated Confederate symbols in recent weeks.

6. Groups are advocating for CARES Act funding to be spent

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  • In Alabama, there’s still $1 billion of CARES Act funding that needs to be spent before December 30, otherwise, it will have to be returned to the federal government. Now, Governor Kay Ivey is being approached by groups on how the money should be spent.
  • Over 80 organizations have started advocating for how the money should be distributed. In a letter to Ivey, Alabama Arise, Alabama Appleseed and other organizations said, “These CARES Act funds provide our best hope to ensure the economic downturn does not force these families into long term, catastrophic conditions that will impact generations to come.”

5. Fauci says pandemic might be over soon

  • The dire talk of a never-ending pandemic seems to have ended as soon as the election did, with Pfizer announcing that they are close to getting approval for their vaccines and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci declaring the pandemic won’t be with us much longer.
  • While speaking to a London-based think tank, Fauci said, “Certainly it’s not going to be a pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around.” This is a striking reversal of tone for Fauci and others who weeks ago said the pandemic would be with us for a very long time.

4. Republicans support Biden receiving briefings

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to be declared the next President of the United States, and while the final election results haven’t been made official, many Republicans have started advocating for Biden to receive classified briefings to begin the transition of power.
  • U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), James Lankford (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IO) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have all come out in favor of Biden having access to classified briefings. Graham was asked directly about this, and even said that he hopes Biden can have access to these briefings soon.

3. Virtual schooling grows

  • Until January 5, 2021, Marshall County schools will be virtual due to the increase of coronavirus cases and even the Superintendent Cindy Wigley testing positive for the virus. The transition to virtual learning will begin Friday.
  • In what could be a coming trend, other schools across the state are moving to online school, as well. Alexander City schools go online Monday and will continue that way until after the Thanksgiving holidays. In Birmingham, Tuggle Elementary School will go online after five COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks.

2. Ainsworth will fight another shutdown

  • While Governor Kay Ivey has been silent, other governors are moving towards more COVID-19 restrictions to fight a growing coronavirus outbreak, but Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth has said that he will fight back against any presented lockdowns.
  • Ainsworth said on Twitter that he “will fight this as hard as I can. I am 100% against a lockdown.” Ainsworth has been against shutdowns and the mask mandate.

1. Biden wins Arizona, while the rule of law wins in Pennsylvania

  • A victory for former Vice President Joe Biden became more likely last night when multiple media outlets called Arizona for the Biden campaign and the Republican attorney general in Arizona said there was no evidence of voter fraud that would change the state of the race.
  • In a rebuke of Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, an appellate court ruled that the state should not count ballots where identification errors were not corrected by November 9, and the decision to do that was in conflict with the state’s constitution. The ruling gives hope to the Trump campaign that the courts will invalidate the extension to accept ballots three days after Election Day that started this chain of events.

2 weeks ago

Alabama’s coronavirus hospitalizations and new cases continue to rise

(Made in Alabama, Southern Research/Twitter, YHN)

Alabama’s coronavirus numbers have risen for the fourth straight week. The state is currently experiencing a number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals it has not seen since late August.

On average, 1,249 Alabamians have come down with a confirmed case of the coronavirus each day over the last week, a 12% increase over the rate of new infections a week ago.

Alabama currently has 1,171 individuals in the hospital due to COVID-19, a figure not seen since August 23. The state’s hospitals had 990 COVID-19 patients last Thursday.

Dr. Don Williamson, head of the Alabama Hosptial Association, told WBRC the increasing hospitalization count had him “really worried,” especially ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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The worrying coronavirus numbers come during a week where perhaps the best COVID-19 news of the entire pandemic appeared: Pfizer released initial data on its vaccine candidate that showed it to be 90% effective.

UAB Hospital vaccine expert Dr. Paul Goepfert called the development “tremendous news,” but others think it may have a negative secondary effect.

“People have mask fatigue. They think because we have a vaccine lurking over the horizon that this is over,” Williamson surmised with regards to Alabama’s increasing numbers.

Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (New Cases, BamaTracker)

Yellowhammer News refers to new cases as ones who have been confirmed by a molecular test performed in a laboratory. When including results from rapid tests like those made by Abbott Labs, Alabama’s seven-day average jumps to 1,640 per day.

Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (Confirmed Hospitalizations, BamaTracker)

Alabama averaged 122 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per day in the last week, down from 125 per day one week ago.

However, that average is occasionally vulnerable to misleading numbers due to irregular reporting by hospitals on the date when COVID-19 patients enter. It hit both 75 and 141 at different points over this past week.

Especially worrying to health officials is the continued high rate of coronavirus tests in Alabama coming back positive.

Clicking image opens coronavirus data hub in new tab. (14-day positivity percentage, BamaTracker)

Over the last two weeks, 21.54% of all tests in the Yellowhammer State have returned a positive result, much higher than the 1% to 5% range necessary for the virus to be considered under control.

The positivity rate remains high, even as the number of tests per day has remained roughly flat for a month.

Clicking image opens interactive chart in new tab (Tests conducted, BamaTracker)

Coronavirus continues to be widely spread across the state; 61 of Alabama’s 67 counties reported a new case on Thursday.

The Alabama Department of Health began a review of coronavirus death data this week that may alter the totals, so Yellowhammer News is not breaking down that metric as usual.

Currently, the state’s death toll is 2,970 with another 243 listed as “probable” but not yet confirmed as COVID-19 related by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Experts continue to warn that wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others at all times is the best way to combat the virus.

UAB expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo remarked Wednesday about the COVID-19 risks over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“Any place where you are sharing food, sharing utensils, breathing close to each other,” are potential avenues for transmission, she warned.

Marrazzo added that if people congregate, “you’ve got to be incredibly thoughtful” and take the proper precautions.

Watch:

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

2 weeks ago

7 Things: COVID-19 vaccine may not come soon enough to stop coming wave, Tuberville lashes out at socialism and communism, AL AG involved in election challenges and more …

(YHN)

7. Demands are already being made

  • As media outlets have declared former Vice President Joe Biden the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors is now working to get a meeting with Biden.
  • Cullors said they “want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.” She added that Black Lives Matter “would like to be actively engaged in your Transition Team’s planning and policy work. Let’s get to work!”

6. No one is going anywhere

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  • Mississippi State Rep. Price Wallace (R) has suggested that the state should “succeed from the union” over former Vice President Joe Biden being declared the president-elect.
  • Wallace’s comment was in response to a Twitter thread posted by fellow State Rep. Robert Foster (R), where Foster was advocating for only legal votes to be counted.

5. Georgia will recount all ballots

  • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has announced that the state will be doing a full recount of the 2020 presidential election by hand. During his announcement, he said this “will be a heavy lift, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification.”
  • In Georgia, former Vice President Joe Biden is currently leading with just over 14,000 votes, but the state hasn’t been called for either candidate. It has been such a close race in Georgia, and they’re working to verify the results.

4. Alabama’s AG involved in election challenges

  • Attorney General Steve Marshall announced this week that he was joining with other attorneys general from around the country to challenge the decision in Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court that changed the way the state does elections by extending the deadline for mail-in ballots, which the state legislature was opposed to.
  • Marshall noted that this is not just about what is happening in Pennsylvania, but what will happen in the future all over the country “is more broad than just simply this election.” He added, “This relates fundamentally to how we conduct elections in this country. For us moving forward, it is very important for the court to weigh in whether Pennsylvania ends up being a state that ultimately matters and whether or not President Trump or Joe Biden becomes the president, it is something the matters for many elections to come.”

3. Tuberville is showing what kind of senator he will be

  • Former Auburn football coach and U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville appeared on Fox News where he said that Republicans are “fighting for the future of the country” against the “socialists and communists” of the Democrat Party.
  • As he advocated against moving toward socialism or communism, Tuberville added, “[W]e better start going by the rules and the Constitution and understand what this country was about and how we got here and the fundamentals.”

2. Rising hospitalizations and cases hit Alabama, U.S.

  • The record number of coronavirus cases hospitalizations, including Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham, and widespread outbreaks are leading to governors revisiting restrictions. This includes Democrats and Republicans both looking for a way to stop the spread, including appeals for people to stay home when some courts have struck some restrictions down.
  • Statements by former Vice President Joe Biden’s choices for his team that will attempt to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continue to show that the strategy for the virus will probably be lockdowns, mask orders and helping the rest of the world get the vaccine before the United States does.

1. Experts: COVID-19 vaccine won’t stop this wave

  • While it does seem that an effective coronavirus vaccine is going to be delivered to states by the end of the year, some health officials are trying to remind people that doesn’t mean the vaccine will stop the current wave of cases we’re seeing in Alabama or the record numbers of cases nationwide.
  • Director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo is trying to remind everyone to continue taking precautions. She added, “Ten to fifteen million is not enough to immunize people who are high risk for complications. …It’s a ray of hope, but right now we have to slog through what these numbers are showing.”

2 weeks ago

A deeper look at the Alabama races in last Tuesday’s election

(W.Miller/Pixabay)

The general election held last Tuesday saw 2,306,587 Alabamians cast a ballot, the highest number in modern history. Yellowhammer News has provided a deep dive into the results.

As Yellowhammer previously reported, President Donald Trump showed his high popularity in Alabama by winning the most ever votes the state has cast for a presidential candidate.

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At the presidential level, Trump received 1,427,820 votes (62.15%) compared to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 837,376 (36.45%), according to the unofficial results available on Alabama Secretary of State’s website, which were last updated on the afternoon of November 4.

RELATED: These Alabama counties supported Trump most

Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen got 24,886 votes (1.08%) in Alabama, and 7,213 voters wrote in a candidate not listed on the ballot.

Senate

In Alabama’s closely-watched race for the U.S. Senate, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated incumbent Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in a landslide, with the Republican capturing 60.21% of the vote to Jones’ 39.62%.

Tuberville received 1,379,222 votes to Jones’ 907,484.

Comparing the two races shows that 6,752 voters in Alabama chose to vote for president and skip the Senate race.

The numbers show that Jones, who raised more than $26 million in the last two years for his campaign as of October 14, got 70,108 more votes than his party’s nominee for president.

Tuberville only received 48,598 fewer votes than Trump in the face of Jones’ massive spending advantage.

There was no third-party candidate in the Senate race and only 3,836 write-in votes, indicating a possibility that some of the difference in the Senate and presidential races are not Trump-Jones voters but rather third party-Jones voters.

A criticism some have leveled at the Jones campaign is that it did very little to differentiate the candidate from an average national member of his party, one that is unpopular with voters in the Yellowhammer State. That criticism appears to have borne itself out.

Apart from vague references to working across the aisle and the mention of bipartisan bills in television ads, ultimately little was done by the Jones campaign to push the idea that the candidate was anything except a mainstream Democrat. The case could easily be made that Jones made that impossible for his campaign to do, with, among many other decisions, his two votes to remove President Trump from office in impeachment proceedings, his votes against the respective Supreme Court confirmations of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and his long-held position on abortion that is out-of-step with most voters in Alabama.

A likely contributing factor to Jones’ defeat was Tuberville’s strengths as a candidate. He was already widely known among many Alabama voters for his long and largely successful tenure as head football coach at Auburn. His ads showed him to be closely in line with the majority of Alabamians, not just in their feelings on policy, but in their attitudes about the larger state of the country.

Also contributing to the Alabama Senate race was American voters’ national trend being ever more starkly divided along partisan lines. Except for some outliers such as Maine, fewer voters selected candidates in both parties than ever before. Notably, Alabama allows citizens to vote straight-ticket for one political party, an option roughly 65% of voters took advantage of in 2018.

The high turnout of Alabama’s 2020 election can put past races in perspective.

Doug Jones received 673,896 votes in his victory over former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in 2017.

Jones got 907,484 votes, an increase of 26% from 2017, in his losing effort last Tuesday.

First Congressional District

In Alabama’s First Congressional District, Republican nominee Jerry Carl had an impressive evening securing his victory for the seat left open by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who mounted an unsuccessful U.S. Senate primary campaign.

The coastal district cast 204,037 votes for Carl, good for 64.88%, as opposed to his opponent James Averhart’s 110,186 votes, 35.04%.

Total votes cast in AL-01 currently sits at 314,501.

In both Mobile and Baldwin Counties, which dominate the population of AL-01, Carl received more votes than fellow Republicans Donald Trump and Tommy Tuberville. However, Carl’s opponent was not as competitive or well funded as the Democrats who ran at the top of the ticket.

In Carl’s first general election on the ballot districtwide, he improved on outgoing Rep. Byrne’s 63.2% to 36.8% victory in 2018, though 2018 was a notably better year for Democrats than 2020 in races across the country.

Second Congressional District

Republican nominee Barry Moore dominated his race in Alabama’s heavily conservative Second Congressional District, where current Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) chose not to seek reelection.

Moore earned the votes of 197,329 (65.30%) individuals in his district, easily besting Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall’s 104,592 (34.61%).

Total votes cast in AL-02 currently sits at 302,207.

Then-candidate Moore decidedly improved on Roby’s 2018 margin of 61.5%, though, again, 2018 was a better year for Democrats across the board.

Public Service Commission president

As Yellowhammer News editor in chief Sean Ross noted previously, “PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R-AL) came close to matching Trump’s vote share,” winning 62.09% of the vote in her race.

Total votes cast in the PSC president race currently sits at 2,239,447.

Cavanaugh received 1,390,549 votes on Tuesday, the most votes ever for any non-presidential candidate running in a contested race in Alabama. The previous mark of 1,335,104 votes was set by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) in 2016.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Republicans remember 2016, Doug Jones blames everyone else for his loss, Alabama/Auburn games postponed over COVID-19 and more …

(YHN)

7. USPS whistleblower says he never recanted as media declares he did

  • A saga has been brewing in Pennsylvania as a postal worker alleged, then reportedly recanted, then declared he never recanted an accusation that the postmaster in Erie, PA, had workers backdate ballots so they would have appeared to be mailed and received before Election Day.
  • The original accusation from postman Richard Hopkins is that he and others were told all ballots that were received after the election were to be postmarked for November 3. Hopkins has responded to reports of his recantation by producing a video he alleges is USPS investigators pressuring him. He says, “I did not recant my statements. That did not happen.” Hopkins emphasizes in a reaction video, “I would like the Washington Post to recant their wonderful little article they just decided to throw out there out of random.”

6. The media loves polling 

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  • After a failure of polling that even the media admits now, Reuters/Ipsos has released a poll showing that 79% of Americans believe former Vice President Joe Biden won the White House, while 13% said the election hasn’t been decided, 5% don’t know and 3% think Trump won.
  • This is not much of a surprise. The American media has been demanding people accept the results without question, and CNN has gone so far as to start publishing lists of politicians who have not called Biden to congratulate him.

5. Legalizing medical marijuana

  • Alabama State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) is renewing his push to legalize medical marijuana in Alabama after Mississippi just voted to legalize it on November 3. Previously, Ball had presented a medical marijuana bill that passed the Alabama Senate but was stalled in the House.
  • Ball has now said that he truly believes he has the votes in the House for the bill to pass, and he’s said that it’s “time for us to pick it up…We need to go ahead and pass it.” He even insisted that legalizing medical marijuana “does not have to be a step toward recreational,” which is a regular concern with legalizing medical marijuana.

4. Auburn football being put on pause

  • Auburn University head football coach Gus Malzahn has announced that a total of 12 people in the football program, including nine players, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Auburn was set to play Mississippi State this weekend, but the game was rescheduled for December 12 due to positive cases at Mississippi State.
  • The team has also done contact tracing, which has led to more people having to quarantine. These are the first positive cases that Auburn has had to deal with since the week of September 12.

3. Alabama/LSU game canceled

  • After a number of positive coronavirus cases were announced on the LSU football team, the game that was scheduled between LSU and the University of Alabama for this weekend has been postponed.
  • LSU had to meet a minimum of 53 healthy players to be able to play, and they were unable to do so due to too many players needing to quarantine.

2. Doug Jones still doesn’t get it

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has spoken out about why he believes Democrats struggled through this election cycle, as Jones himself lost his reelection for former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. He believes that his loss has nothing to do with the fact that he held positions completely out of step with most Alabamians and refused to explain why.
  • Jones said the issue is really with how the party has inadequately defended against attacks from Republicans, saying that Democrats are “not some demonic cult-like we’re portrayed to be … Democrats have not been able to fully counter the Republican narrative.”

1. Democrats seem to think the 2016 election results were accepted right away

  • Many have continued to question why President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded the presidential race to former Vice President Joe Biden yet, and there are also those in the media asking Republicans to admit that Biden has won the presidency, even though there are outstanding legal issues and recounts at play.
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that there’s “no reason for alarm” over why all Republican leaders haven’t admitted that Biden has won and congratulated him yet. McConnell added that there should be “no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election and who insinuated that this would be illegitimate too if they lost again – only if they lost.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Some are hopeful for vaccine while others downplay it, election drama goes on, Alabama and Auburn may not play this weekend and more …

(YHN)

7. Secretary of Defense fired

  • President Donald Trump went on Twitter Tuesday to fire Secretary of Defense Mike Esper, simply posting, “Mike Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.” It’s been reported that Esper was aware before the tweet was posted.
  • This announcement caught many off-guard, as the reason for Esper’s firing was not immediately clear, but five months ago, Esper opposed using the Insurrection Act to respond to civil unrest across the country. Trump has announced that Christopher C. Miller will take over as “Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately.”

6. Alabama could give assistance to states still counting

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  • As Georgia has come under criticism for not being able to deliver their election results yet, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has said that they’ve reached out to both Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
  • Merrill said he’s expressed his “interest and enthusiasm in providing assistance, if necessary, with the closing of their General Election or upcoming Runoff Election for January 5. That offer for assistance remains for them to consider, and we wish them the best in the execution of their Runoff and look forward to a successful result.”

5. Joe Manchin throws massive monkey wrench in Democrats’ plans

  • Democrats’ hope for control of the U.S. Senate hinges on what happens in two Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs over the next two months, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made it clear what his agenda is. He advised, “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world.”
  • Unfortunately for Schumer, moderate U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has made it clear that even if Democrats take both Georgia Senate seats, he will not vote to end the filibuster or pack the courts. Without those two measures passing, Democrats’ hopes of higher taxes, D.C. statehood or implementation of the Green New Deal seem all but impossible.

4. Auburn game postponed, Alabama game in jeopardy

  • Due to a large number of positive coronavirus cases in the Mississippi State football program, the Auburn University vs Mississippi State football game scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until December 12.
  • The University of Alabama is set to play LSU this weekend, but it’s been announced that LSU is currently dealing with a number of positive coronavirus cases. The game hasn’t officially been postponed or canceled, but it’s considered to be in “jeopardy.”

3. Barr ready to investigate voter fraud as the American media demands it never happen

  • As the American media fights any attempts to look into allegations of voter fraud by declaring there is none, Attorney General William Barr has now authorized federal prosecutors to go after voting irregularities during the 2020 election. He believes it should be done before the results are certified.
  • U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) has said that if there’s a recount of the votes for the presidential election, it will only result in former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) receiving more votes. She said that “all lawful votes should be counted.”

2. Hate the vaccine because Trump advocated for it

  • As it’s been announced that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 90% effective, reactions are pouring in from many who refuse to be happy about this news since it happened during the time of a Trump presidency.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) described this as “good and bad news,” adding that the “administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed. …They’re basically going to have the private providers do it, and that’s going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them.”

1. New vaccine shows major promise

  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been reported to be 90% effective. UAB vaccine expert Dr. Paul Geopfert, M.D., said this is “tremendous news,” adding that some of the “most optimistic of us were thinking about 70% effective” is what would be achieved.
  • There had previously been speculation by researchers that because the vaccine for the coronavirus was being developed so quickly, it could result in it only being 60-70% effective, but obviously this vaccine is showing greater promise than that.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Conflicting reports on Trump conceding, Biden projected by the media to win the presidency, Mo Brooks continue to push Trump to fight for transparency and more …

(YHN)

7. The coronavirus pandemic must be over

  • As news about the election results had been announced and the race was called, naming former Vice President Joe Biden the president-elect, people across the country celebrated by holding large demonstrations in the streets with no social distancing.
  • These celebrations were mainly held in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., but Biden has already been criticized for not speaking on these events as he has regularly advocated for listening to science in regards to the coronavirus pandemic.

6. Biden to push for more masks

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  • Reportedly, one of Joe Biden’s first plans as President of the United States will be to push for more masks, but he has said he plans on doing it by going to governors and mayors to get it done, instead of a federal mask order.
  • The fact that Biden is suggesting this is not all that surprising, given that he talked about it during the election, but even he has admitted in the past that it is probably unconstitutional for a president to do a national mask order.

5. Ivey wants to make sure we had a legitimate process

  • As there is still a level of uncertainty surrounding the presidential election results, many are supporting investigations into votes and recounts in some states. Governor Kay Ivey has stated support for ensuring the process was done correctly.
  • Ivey said, “Every legal vote should be counted, and all sides should have the ability to observe the process.” She also added, “The courts are there to apply the rule of law and ensure we had a fair and free election. The people of Alabama and our county deserve to know that we had a legitimate process.”

4. Doug Jones could be Attorney General

  • As former Vice President Joe Biden has been announced as the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, there are now reports that U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) could be appointed to U.S. Attorney General in a Biden administration.
  • Politico reported that Jones is currently the frontrunner for the position. Biden and Jones have been friends as far back as 1988, when Jones worked on Biden’s first presidential campaign.

3. Brooks won’t ratify Biden victory

  • U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) posted a message over the weekend where he encouraged President Donald Trump to “fight Biden’s unlawful victory claims.” Brooks added that there’s “no way” he’ll “vote in the House to ratify the Electoral College votes of states where illegal votes distorted the will of the people in those states who voted legally.”
  • Brooks is not the only Republican urging President Trump to continue fighting. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again.”

2. Biden the projected winner

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the president-elect and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) the vice president-elect, and while the results still aren’t considered absolutely official, it’s unlikely for the outcome to change.
  • President Donald Trump has brought up legal challenges over the election results in multiple states. By December 8, all state legal challenges and recounts have to be completed, and electoral college votes won’t be counted by the House and Senate until January 6, 2021.

1. Trump may or may not concede

  • As former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the projected winner of the presidential election and delivered a victory speech, now there are questions about if President Donald Trump will concede with reports indicating that he will and others saying he won’t.
  • Rudy Guiliani held a news conference in Philadelphia where he insisted that Trump is “not going to concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question,” and while there are currently legal challenges Trump is pursuing in multiple states. Other reports indicate that Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and even Melania Trump have suggested that President Trump concede the election as most legal experts believe that it’s unlikely for the results of the election to be changed.

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: More people lose faith in our elections, Senator-elect Tuberville destroys Doug Jones, Alabama Democrats continue to lose ground and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through Alabama’s biggest political stories, including:

— After the last two presidential elections, will anyone trust the results ever again?

— How did U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville gain such a decisive victory over U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL)?

— Has the Alabama Democratic Party learned anything in the last few years, or did Senator Jones’ victory give them false hope?

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Jackson and Handback are joined by a co-chairman of Tommy Tuberville’s Senate campaign to discuss his huge victory and who he sees as a potential candidate for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) Senate seat if he were to retire.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who don’t understand that the way early voting and mail-in voting is done is destroying the faith in our electoral system.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden says he will win as Trump claims fraud, Ivey extends mask mandate but lessens restrictions, Brooks thinks Alabama does voting right and more …

(YHN)

7. Alabama police officer under investigation for social media post

  • Flomaton Police Captain Scott Walden commented on a post that said “idiots that voted for Biden hated Trump enough to throw the country away.” Walden replied, “[T]hey need to line up ev1 [every one] of them and put a bullet in their skull for treason.”
  • Walden has attempted to defend his comments by saying that he was only speaking about those who commit treason, despite his comment being in direct relation to those who voted for former Vice President Joe Biden. The Flomaton Police Department has said that Walden’s comments are currently under investigation.

6. Ivey met with Tuberville

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  • As former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has been elected the next member of the U.S. Senate from Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey met with Tuberville in her office to congratulate him.
  • On Twitter, Ivey said it was her “honor to welcome Alabama’s Senator-Elect.” She added that they “had a productive conversation about AL’s priorities. His victory ensures that our values are represented in D.C. & that we keep Republican control of the U.S. Senate.”

5. More states should run like Alabama

  • Election results are yet to be finalized in several states, and now U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has said that other states could instead take some notes from Alabama on how to run their elections to make sure they have the results in a timely manner.
  • In a Facebook post, Brooks said other states should do what Alabama does, which is “require voter ID, have absentee voting with strict deadlines before Election Day…Unlike in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Michigan, the integrity of Alabama’s elections are not in question.”

4. NFIB: Ivey helping in every way she can

  • Starting on November 8, some restrictions for capacity will be lifted on businesses across the state of Alabama due to Governor Kay Ivey altering the “Safer-At-Home” order. National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Alabama State Director Rosemary Elebash has praised Ivey for this decision.
  • In a statement, Elebash said that she wanted to “thank Governor Ivey for doing everything she can to help small businesses get through this crisis and avoid cutting jobs and closing their doors for good.”

3. Mask mandate extended

  • Governor Kay Ivey has announced that she’s extended the “Safer-At-Home” order, which includes the statewide mask mandate, until at least December 11, but some restrictions on businesses have been removed.
  • Beginning on November 8, entertainment venues, gyms and retailers won’t be required to have capacity limits. Other establishments like restaurants and salons can start offering close contact service, within 6 feet, as long as there are “impermeable barriers” in place.

2. Biden confident that he’ll win

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke to reporters and said that he and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) “continue to feel very good about where things stand. And we have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be the winners.”
  • Biden pointed out that every “ballot must be counted and that’s what is going on now…Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience.”

1. Trump shows he is in this fight for the long haul

  • As the election counts go on, Georgia has now moved to Biden after the same thing happened in Michigan and Wisconsin moved as well. President Donald Trump held a press conference at the White House Thursday where he said that he’s won the election if you only count the “legal” votes. He also laid out a series of complaints about voting and counting that has happened over the last few days.
  • Trump went on to accuse media polling of being “election interference” and “suppression polls.” He claimed that they falsely created momentum for Biden.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Biden has the inside track, Trump pledges to fight, Tuberville has message for out of state donors and more …

(YHN)

7. The coronavirus is still a thing

  • As the nation is focusing on what is happening with the presidential election, records are being broken with the coronavirus, and we have crossed the 100,000 cases in a day for the first time. Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and New Mexico are now noting that they have record hospitalizations.
  • Obviously, the virus is far less deadly than it was when all of this started, but Huntsville Hospital’s CEO says they are starting to see more coronavirus patients and more flu-related patients as well. This is raising concern moving into the flu season around the state.

6. No, Saban isn’t going to run for office

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  • Despite the fact that former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has been elected the next U.S. Senator for Alabama, University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban isn’t looking for a political future.
  • Saban gave the short answer of “No” when asked if he’d be interested in entering the world of politics. Saban said that he’s “really happy for” Tuberville, adding he thinks “he’ll do a really, really good job.”

5. Twinkle Cavanaugh made some history

  • Elected and now sworn in Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh had an excellent performance on Election Day, winning the most votes for anyone running in a contested race outside of the presidency.
  • Cavanaugh received 1,386,861 votes this election. Previously, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) received 1,335,104 votes in 2016, setting the previous record.

4. Trump won Alabama with the most votes ever

  • In Alabama, President Donald Trump broke his own previous record in votes received, claiming at least 1,424,223 in the 2020 election. This is more than any other candidate has received in the state. Trump previously picked up 1,318,255 votes in 2016.
  • In this election, Trump received 62.34% of the vote, while former Vice President Joe Biden only managed to get 36.26%.

3. U.S. Senator-elect Tuberville not mincing words

  • U.S. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville said that the out-of-state donors who gave to U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) reelection campaign can “go to hell.”
  • Tuberville said that those liberals can “go to hell and get a job as far as I’m concerned.” In reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Jones’ campaign spent about $25 million, which was four times the amount spent by Tuberville’s campaign.

2. Legal challenges coming

  • President Donald Trump has already declared himself the winner of this election, even though that remains to be decided, but now he’s calling for the votes in Wisconsin to be recounted after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner of that state. The Trump campaign has legal challenges in other states as well.
  • The Trump campaign has also filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan. In Pennsylvania, the case is against continuing to count mail-in-ballots after November 3, even if they’re postmarked by Election Day. In Michigan, the Trump campaign is working for the ability to observe ballot counts. In Georgia, an observer alleged absentee ballots were added after the deadline.

1. Biden wins Michigan and Wisconsin, but it is not over

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden does seem to be on the path to victory, potentially, as he’s been declared the winner of Michigan and Wisconsin, leaving him with 264 Electoral College votes, while President Donald Trump has 214.
  • After the media raged about Trump declaring victory, Biden did the same, saying, “I’m not here to declare that we’ve won but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.” Four states remain in the balance with counting continuing in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina. All of these states continue to close the gap in favor of Joe Biden as they slowly count votes.